Monday, August 26, 2019

Tales from the Thrift Store vol. 13

I think I've mentioned it on the blog probably more than a few times now, but I absolutely love the 50% off sales that Goodwill runs on the first Saturday of each month. That being said, I haven't been to one in months, and my attending the August edition wasn't looking too promising, so I just said to heck with it... and went the day before!

The participating stores open up a couple of hours early on the sale days, I think 7am is what they've said publicly, but I'm fairly certain that the one I go to opens even earlier, and no matter how hard I try, I just can't seem to get there before eight -- which means that people have been coming and going for at least an hour, and the lack of items/general disarray of everything, is usually a pretty good sign of the chaos that has occurred before my arrival.

I suppose I could try waking up earlier, but I'm already up a little before 6am on a daily basis, and don't like having to get up any sooner, save for the occasional card show. Plus, I'm terribly sluggish most mornings, so getting up and eating real quick, only to then toss on some clothes and leave, really isn't an option for me. So what's a fellow to do? Why, go the day before the sale of course!

This turned out to be a really good decision (I do make them occasionally) on my part, as the shelves were absolutely packed when I got there, they open at 9am on Fridays, so I was able to get there within minutes of the doors being opened. Having never been to this store on a non-sale day, it was a little weird to see so much stuff, especially in the toy aisle, which is decimated by the time I see it on the sale days. The highlight of the full toy aisle was an old Lego Empire State Building set in a bag for like $8, and when I say old, I mean the Legos looked like they did when I was a kid, not like the weird looking stuff that is put out these days. I didn't buy it, because a) I didn't know if it was complete, and b) the Legos looked very played with, in fact I've never seen Legos that looked so rough before. Still fun to see though, and I'm sure that somebody bought it the next day.

Anyways, if you've seen any of these posts before, then you already know which section that I headed to first... videos! Followed by DVD's, records, video games, etc.

The last couple of half-off sales that I've been to have seen me getting there only to find quite a few empty spaces on the VHS shelves, so I was rather pleased to see that the shelves were completely full on this particular Friday...

Confession time: Before getting this tape, I had never seen an episode of WKRP before! I know that it's been syndicated forever now, and I do remember it being on quite a bit during my childhood, teens, and twenties -- but as anyone who had cable during the late 80's and into the 90's knows, there was always stuff to watch, and for me, WKRP just wasn't a high priority at the time. However, now that I'm couple of years removed from having cable/satellite (and I don't do streaming), I've started to become interested in trying out some of the shows that I didn't have time for when I was younger.

I tried to watch Cloverfield for the first time last week, and big surprise, it didn't go well! I'm sure that there's a few other people out there who still haven't seen it, so I won't spoil anything, but I will say that I only made it to about the 35-minute mark, just long enough for the monster/alien to show up, and then I just couldn't do anymore (to be fair though, I was hating it after the first five minutes). I don't know if it was the intention of the filmmakers or not, but if I was supposed to hate every single human in that film, than they did a great job, because I did. I knew that I'd never be giving this one another go, so after stopping it, I went to IMDB to read some spoilers, and boy am I glad that I didn't decide to power through that last hour, because the rest of the movie sounds just as bad (if not worse) than the first half an hour. As disappointing as that was (I had been wanting to see it for a long time), I still had an hour of free time to fill, so I got up and popped in the above tape, and ended up enjoying the show, or at least the first two episodes, quite a bit -- so much so, that I'll now be on the lookout for some cheap seasons on DVD.

Oh, and one other thing, is anyone interested in a Cloverfield DVD?

Watching Gaslight on TCM used to be a yearly tradition for me, because of that, I never felt the need to look for a physical copy -- but after I cut that proverbial cord, my yearly tradition fell by the wayside, and I have since been in search of a physical copy. This is one instance where DVD might be better, but I haven't seen a cheap one of those, so VHS will have to suffice until I do.

Not much to say about this one, it was new to me, and I still haven't watched it yet. I did notice that it was released back in 1992 on my birthday, so that's something. Also, I really love screener tapes, people used to collect them, but I don't really know how strong the market is for them anymore?

And another one that I had never seen (and still haven't), but I was at least familiar with it.

How about an old documentary that was clearly made to be watched in classrooms? And you can tell that it was made for a different generation (my generation), because it hasn't been dumbed down in the least, there are no jump cuts, and there is no artificial/unnecessary drama. In other words, it was made for kids who were capable of independent thought. This was the first thing from this haul that got watched, and it did not disappoint! If you have any interest in dinosaurs, do yourself a favor, and keep an eye out for this one -- or try to find it online if that's your thing.

Finding a non-Jackie Chan martial arts film in this part of the country is not an easy task, so imagine my surprise when I found this one! Finding a Sonny Chiba picture in this part of the country is damn near impossible. And if finding one is damn near impossible, then...

... finding two is like, well, I don't know what it's like, but I probably should've stopped to buy a lottery ticket on my way home that morning.

Like the video shelves, the big spinny rack of DVD's was completely full, which by the way, was something that I hadn't encountered before, usually that rack is only half-full at best. Of course just because the rack is full, doesn't mean that there's going to be anything good in there, but thankfully this was one instance where full rack equaled good stuff!

In general I do like most submarine movies, the only problem is, they tend to bleed together, at least for me. So trying to remember what scene came from what movie can often be a rather difficult, if not impossible, task. Because of this, I can't always recall which films I've seen, and which one's I haven't, case in point, The Bedford Incident. Have I seen it? I don't remember, and probably won't until I watch it again. At least I was able to remember that I didn't already own it though, that by the way, is something that I never have trouble with.

I had seen this film a few times over the years, but had never encountered a physical copy before. If someone were to ask me, I'd say this is a good movie, but definitely not for everyone, especially if you're looking for historical accuracy. I watched it again a couple of nights ago, and after having not done so for around a decade, a couple of things stood out, things that I hadn't noticed in the past. I'm quite a bit more familiar with Merle Oberon than I was the last time I saw it, knowing what I now know, it's considerably more interesting to watch her portrayal of George Sand, because for all intensive purposes, she's playing herself... neither gal was ever going to be winning any humanitarian awards. The other thing that I noticed was that I really enjoyed some of the secondary characters, in fact they sort of make the movie for me, George Coulouris as Louis Pleyel, Howard Freeman as Kalkbrenner, and my favorite, Stephen Bekassy as Franz Liszt.

I hadn't seen this one before, but I knew that with this cast that it couldn't be bad, and as it turns out, I was right. There isn't a lot of depth to the characters, and everybody's kind of playing their typical roles, but that's okay, because that's what I'm paying to see with most of these guys.

From one ensemble cast to another! Not my favorite Sergio Leone western, but I hadn't seen it for a long time, so for less than $2 I figured I might as well give it another go -- and I'm glad I did, because I ended up enjoying it quite a bit more than the last time I saw it (15-20 years ago).

I think I did pretty well overall, obviously everything wasn't half-off, but had I waited a day, most of this stuff wouldn't have still been sitting there. And other than a brief negative interaction with a guy who didn't seem to understand the etiquette of spinny racks, I had pretty decent time -- although I did go to Hobby Lobby afterwards, and that was a complete bust, but Goodwill was... good!

With the next half-off sale being a little less than two weeks away now, I'm fairly certain that I'm going to try and go the day before again, as it doesn't hurt to see if I can duplicate the success of this last trip.

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Pack Sampling: 1990 Fleer football

Today's pack doesn't need much build-up, as I'm sure that most card collectors are already quite familiar with the set.

Even though I bought an awful lot of this stuff when I was a kid, I found myself to be suffering from a bit of a brain fog when I was rifling through the $0.25 packs at the "card" shop a few weeks back. I couldn't for the life of me remember what this set looked like, I guess it had just been too long since I had last seen any, so I grabbed a pack to refresh the old memory banks -- knowing that I'd be getting some more cheap blog material was just an added bonus.

Depending on who your college football team is, you either really love this guy, or you really hate it him. Personally, I'm neutral, but I did consider his being the first card out of the gate to be a good sign of things to come.

The scanner ended up adding some texture to a few of these, which dare I say... makes an already attractive design just that much more so?

HOF'er, and 1/4 of the famed Dome Patrol. This might be a good time to start a HOF tracker, three cards in and we're up to 1.

Looks like Fleer was a little behind on the times, as Jamie had moved north to play for the Raiders in 1990. And even though he's listed here as a receiver, his primary position was that of kick returner. Played six years of pro football, all six of which were spent with special teams, and pulled double duty for three as a wide out -- total number of touchdowns: 1.

Unless I see a card of his, I will often forget that Reggie ever played in Green Bay -- which is probably a byproduct of my not following football too much during the mid to late 90's. HOF tracker: 2

The backs are fairly typical of what Fleer was doing at the time, which I do like, although in retrospect, full career stats would've been nice, but it's not the end of the world.

Besides winning two Super Bowls with the Giants, I don't have much to say about Mark Collins. I did however notice something interesting about the card...

... DEMON EYES!!!!!!!

Lean Mean Kevin Greene! It might be kind of fun to start a collection of athletes who were involved with wrestling at some point or another. HOF tracker: 3

Played in four Super Bowls, didn't win any of them, but I would imagine that his life was Ritcher just for having been there and done that.

I know it's just a base card, but it feels kind of like a "hit". HOF tracker: 4

Ray would already be in the Hall of Fame if the Oilers had ever won a Super Bowl, even so, I think he still might make it at some point. HOF tracker: 5? (I know, I'm reaching a little bit here)

No relation to Toni, but he did win two rings, so that's something!

If I didn't know any better I'd swear that this was Ron Jaworsky.

I wonder if a flag was thrown on this play?

Paul was one of the best player's on a lot of bad Bucs teams, unfortunately his career ended right after the team finally started to get good.

Overall, I'd say this was a pretty solid pack, would've been good back in 1990, and was even better now. Got four confirmed HOF'ers, with a possible fifth somewhere down the road.

It had been a lot of years since the last time that I had opened a pack of these, and I really enjoyed doing so, I'm even thinking that I might have to pick up a cheap box the next time I'm at the "copy/print/cards on the side" shop.

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

COMC Shuffle #24

Another week, another ten randomly selected cards from last year's COMC hoard!

2013 Panini Cooperstown Collection Red Crystal Shard #53
Looks like we're staring off with my birthday twin! I've finally decided with complete certainty that I'm no longer going to try and finish this set, but I'll still keep a few cards, including this one (despite the blah photo) -- just in case I do decide to start collecting cards from his post-playing days.
1998-99 Topps Stadium Club Triumvirate - Luminous #T8a
I have around 100 cards of John Stockton (mostly inserts and parallels), and this is by far one of my favorites. Also, how great were Triumvirate's? Despite missing them greatly, I very much hope that Topps never decides to try and bring them back... because we all know that they would look like hot s*** if they ever did!

1962 Topps Mars Attacks! #10
I can't help but wonder if a card like this could be made now in our post 9/11 world?

2012 Topps Chrome Retail Orange Refractor #100
Of all of the parallels of this card from Topps and Topps Chrome, the orange refractor is probably my least favorite, so why do I have like four of them now? Simple, I love the image, and the orange's tend to be pretty cheap, well, that and my semi-recent penchant for buying multiple of the same card seems to be getting worse.

1972-73 Topps #244
 Now that was a match-up (offensively speaking), Rick Barry v. George McGinnis!

2013 Panini Father's Day Progressions - Magenta #38
Another piece of the completed rainbow.

2013 Panini Golden Age Historic Signatures #SC
With this one, the COMC folder is now devoid of Golden Age autos. Steve has an autograph in the 2012 and 2013 sets, both of which I own. With a lot of help from Affirmed, he became the youngest jockey to win the Triple Crown (1978), and was the only jockey to ever be named the sportsman of the year by Sports Illustrated.

1972-73 Topps #176
This card is interesting because this is back when they used the total number of assists to declare the season's leader, so you have Lenny Wilkens finishing in 1st with 766 assists, and Jerry West right behind him with 747 -- yet modern statistics will tell you that Jerry West led the league in assists during the '71-72 season with 9.7 apg, and Lenny Wilkens finished 2nd with 9.6 apg.
1963 Topps #31
Another one for the "Telstar Four" collection. I was trying to figure out who was in the background, but failed spectacularly... anybody have any clues?

2014-15 Panini Prizm Yellow and Red Mosaic Prizms #223
Some of the images that Panini used for veterans portion of the 2014 checklist are a bit iffy, some are even bad enough that it leads one to wonder what the photo selector's were thinking (or smoking), but not this one, this is a solid image of Artis Gilmore, and one that I believe is from the tail-end of his time with San Antonio, maybe '85-87? I also really like dig the stark contrast of background colors with his black jersey, it seems to make image pop more.

On an unrelated note, I meant to have a couple of more posts up this past week, but the Challenges happened, and I chose to try and start building the credit back up in my account over blog "writing", so... Sorry Not Sorry :)

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Pack Sampling: 1990-91 Pro Set English League Soccer

If you saw this past Tuesdays post, than you already know that I just recently picked up a few more random cheap packs (for blog purposes of course), one of which was a pack of 1990-91 Pro Set soccer. And if you didn't see this past Tuesdays post, well, I just recently picked up a few more random cheap packs, one of which was a pack of 1990-91 Pro Set soccer.

I don't know if it's important or not, but I'll state right from the get-go that soccer, or futbol, is not my thing -- it never has been, and it never will be.

I can't remember how long it's been now, but back when the Timbers first started up in Portland, I did go ahead and give the sport a chance. I think I watched their first two or three games on television, and even though I wanted to support a local team, I just couldn't get in to it. It may be the world's most popular sport, but it ain't for me, and I'm done trying to "get" it.

Nevertheless, when I spotted this lone pack of soccer cards in the $0.25 bin at ye olde "copy/print/cards on the side" shop, I couldn't resist picking it up -- twenty-five cents is awfully cheap for a blog posts worth of material, plus I can at least now say that I have indeed opened up a pack of soccer cards before.

Now for the disclaimer: As mentioned, me and soccer are not one, as such, I may have took some liberties (i.e. tried to have some fun) with a few of the cards in this pack -- so, if you dear reader are a big-time soccer fan, and are somehow offended by these attempted liberties, please send your complaints to the following address:

Now that the formalities have been gotten out of the way, let's get to rippin'!

I don't know how much it would've cost back in 1990, but as of this typing, the cheapest flight from London to L.A. via Virgin airlines is roughly $557.

NEC (formerly Nippon Electric Company, Limited) is a Japanese multinational IT company.

After retiring, John co-hosted Gladiators, which was a British adaption of American Gladiators.

Hailing from Wegberg, Germany, David is the only player in this pack who wasn't born in the UK. Wegberg fun fact: Eight kilometers (roughly five miles) of the city's border are also the national border of Germany and the Netherlands.

 David is REALLY excited to be playing futbol.

In 1977, Howard Gayle became the first black player to suit up for Liverpool.

I think I like the back of the cards more than the fronts, at least they tell you which team that the player is representing.

John Pemberton: "The World's Greatest Laver".

 I wonder what Andy was running from?

I have boxers that are longer than those shorts!

So there you have it! I don't know if it's because I'm not a soccer fan or what, but these cards were kind of underwhelming, and that's saying something, because I had absolutely no expectations going into the pack. The design is pretty blah, especially by Pro Set standards. It would be interesting to know why they were so toned down? Did soccer fans not like cards that were pleasing to the eye?

It's also worth noting that Pro Set football packs from the same year contained 14 cards, and the hockey packs had 15 cards, these on the other hand only have 9 cards per pack -- did soccer fans get gipped?

As per usual, if you see anything you like, don't be shy about saying so (a few of the cards have some sort of dimple/factory flaw). I have no plans to keep any of them, and don't care about getting anything in return, so any and all are available to whoever wants them.

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.